For the air base, see Nizhyn (air base).


Coat of arms

Location of Nizhyn in Ukraine

Location of Nizhyn in Chernihiv Oblast

Coordinates: 51°02′17″N 31°53′10″E / 51.03806°N 31.88611°E / 51.03806; 31.88611Coordinates: 51°02′17″N 31°53′10″E / 51.03806°N 31.88611°E / 51.03806; 31.88611
Country Ukraine
Oblast Chernihiv Oblast
Municipality Nizhyn municipality
Magdeburg rights 1625
  Total 43.2 km2 (16.7 sq mi)
Population (1 January 2005)
  Total 75,600

Nizhyn (Ukrainian: Ніжин, Ukrainian pronunciation: [ˈnʲiʒɪn], Russian: Не́жин, Nezhin, Polish: Nieżyn) is a city located in the Chernihiv Oblast (province) of northern Ukraine, along the Oster River, 150 km (93 mi) north-east of the nation's capital, Kiev. It is the administrative center of the Nizhyn Raion, though the city itself is also designated as a district in the oblast. Once a major city of the Chernigov Governorate, it had estimated population of 73 283 people according to 2013 census.


The earliest known references to the location go back to 1147, when it was briefly mentioned as Unenezh. In the times of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Nizhyn was granted Magdeburg rights (1625) as a self-governing town. In 1663 Nizhyn was the place of the Black Council of Ukrainian Cossacks, which elected Bryukhovetsky as the new Hetman of the Zaporizhian Host thus conditionally dividing Ukraine (Cossack Hetmanate) into left-bank Ukraine and right-bank Ukraine. It was also the seat of a major Cossack regiment (until 1782).

Nizhyn was once a major center of Hasidic Judaism and is the site of the Ohel (tomb) of the Hasidic master, Rabbi Dovber Schneuri of Chabad-Lubavitch. The city also housed the thriving Greek community, which enjoyed a number of privileges granted by Bohdan Khmelnytsky.

In the 19th century Nizhyn became an uyezd capital of the Chernigov Governorate and the biggest city in the guberniya. In 1805, the Bezborodko Lyceum was established there (today - Nizhyn Gogol State University); its graduates include Nikolai Gogol whose statue graces one of city streets as well as Yevhen Hrebinka among other graduates. Nizhyn has also long been noted for its famous cucumbers.

During World War II, Nizhyn was occupied by the German Army from 13 September 1941 to 15 September 1943.

Jewish population

Jews first settled in Nizhyn at the beginning of the 19th century after the partition of Poland. The town grew to become a center for the Habad Hasidim of Ukraine. By 1847, 1,299 Jews had registered as residents. In 1897, 24% of the population, or 7,361 residents, were Jewish.

A wave of pogroms severely affected the Jewish population in 1881 and 1905. During their retreat from the Germans in the spring of 1918, the Red Army carried out additional pogroms. During World War II, the region was occupied by Germany, who exterminated all Jews in the area. Only those who escaped survived.

In 1959, 1,400 Jews lived in Nizhyn, about 3% of the town's population. In 2005, Nizhyn population reached 80,000. Only about 300 Jewish families lived in the city.[1]

Aircraft crash

In July 1969 two Tupolev Tu-22 aircraft from the nearby air base collided in mid-air. The crew ejected and the plane flew on unpiloted for 52 minutes, threatening the city of Nizhyn before crashing 0.5 km from the city's railway station.[2]

Modern times

The city of Nizhyn is one of the ancient cities of Ukraine. The architectural complex of the city forms an expressive ensemble of an ancient trade city. The experts' estimates distinguish more than 300 ancient buildings, where 70 are of a great cultural and historical value. The expressive 200 years ensemble of Post Station (the only one preserved in Ukraine) deserves special mention. Nizhyn is a city of students (each fifth inhabitant of Nizhyn is a student). The following educational establishments operate in Nizhyn – State University named after Gogol; Agro-technical College, faculty of Kremenchyk Institute of Economy and New Technologies, College of Culture and Arts named after Zankovetska, Medical College, Nizhyn Professional Lyceum of Services, Nizhyn Agrarian Lyceum, vocational college, Lyceum at the University. There are four club institutions, the Drama Theater named after Kotsyubinskiy, the Choreographic school and park landscapes in the city.

The city boasts 38 libraries with the total fund of 17,365 thousand books, which caters for 44,429 readers, more than a dozen of museums, including Nizhyn Regional museum with the following sections: art, history, Nizhyn Post Station, with about 31 thousand of exhibits of the main fund, the Museum of the History of School No.3, the Museum of the History of School No.7 with a room of M.V.Nechkina, the Korolyov Museum in School No.14, the Glory Museum of Agrarian and Technical Institute, the Museum-Chemists shop named after M.Ligda. The following institutions function at Nizhyn State Pedagogical Institute named after Gogol: The Museum of Gogol, Art Gallery, the Museum “Rare book”, zoological museum, and botanical museum. Nizhyn is a well-known industrial center, where 16 industrial enterprises, which belong to 8 branches, operate.Nizhyn is also an attractive tourist city. It is included into the tour “Necklace of Slavutych”.


John the Apostle Church in Nizhyn.

Architecturally Nizhyn was shaped in the 18th century. Foremost among its buildings must be mentioned its seven Baroque churches: Annunciation Cathedral (1702–16, modernised 1814), Presentation Cathedral (1788), St. Michael's Church of the Greek community (1719–29), St John's Church (1752, illustrated, to the right), Saviour's Transfiguration Church (1757), Intercession Church (1765), and the so-called Cossack Cathedral of St. Nicholas (1658, restored 1980s), a rare survival from the days of Nizhyn's Cossack glory, noted for its octagonal vaults and drums crowned by archetypal pear-shaped domes (picture). Other notable buildings include the Trinity Church (1733, rebuilt a century later), the Greek magistrate (1785), and the Neoclassical complex of the Nizhyn Lyceum (designed by Luigi Rusca, built in 1805–17, expanded in 1876–79).


Modern Nezhin – a major industrial center. The city has 16 companies and firms from eight industries:

Nezhinskoye ** Training and Production Enterprise "UTOS" – covers of metal for home canning, switches, electric sockets, nails, clips, extension cords.

PVKF ** "Courier";



Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nizhyn.
  1. "Nezhin in the 1800s". Retrieved 12 October 2009.
  2. Gordon, Yefim (1999). Tupolev Tu-22 'Blinder' Tu-22M 'Backfire'. Midland Publishing. ISBN 1-85780-065-6.
  3. Bogomolets O. Radomysl Castle-Museum on the Royal Road Via Regia". – Kyiv, 2013 ISBN 978-617-7031-15-3
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